Regions Financial Corp. reported a 5.3 percent drop in profit in the third quarter as mortgage refinancings declined as interest rates rose this summer.
The Birmingham, Ala.-based bank, the third largest in the Chattanooga area, earned net income of $285 million, or 20 cents a share, in the three months ended Sept. 30. In the same period a year earlier, the bank earned $301 million, or 21 cents. In trading on the New York Stock Exchange, shares in Regions bank fell Tuesday by 36 cents per share to close at $9.60.
Regions Chief Executive Officer Grayson Hall said the bank is focusing on cutting costs in response to the drop in mortgage and other lending activity. Mortgage income declined $17 million from the second quarter.
"While its net interest margin came in higher than expected and loan balances increased, the company was unable to reduce expenses in the face of lower fee income," Jason Goldberg, a Barclays Plc analyst, said in a note Tuesday.